Brandon’s Tia Smith breaking barriers in Vancouver

Darryl Wolski
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Tia is on the left

A somewhat typical story I often hear is that people have a hard time leaving Brandon and if they do they seem to return…kind of like the new marketing sell line for the city “ Brandon Brings You Back”.

27 year old Tia Smith (pictured above-L) from Brandon took a huge leap of faith several years ago and moved to Vancouver to study Interior Design.  Tia has always been on the cutting edge and now has the ability to use her skills in Vancouver and abroad.

When did you leave Brandon and why did you choose Vancouver?

I left Brandon in 2012 and moved to Vancouver to get my Bachelor of Interior Design. I had always been a fan of the west coast growing up so after graduating high school I selected a school here to pursue my career as a designer.

Let’s talk about Jute Design. First of all why that name, and is this your business or do you have partners?

My business partner, Jill Propoerzi and I started Jute Design & Management in 2016 when we saw an opportunity to create a design-build firm here in Vancouver. Offering both these services allows us to provide a cohesive package with seamless execution. We find that having one point of contact benefits our clients and has aided in our success. Our business model led us to choosing the name Jute. Jute is composed of multiple different natural fibers, once combined they create a strong, versatile material.  

When you click on your website the list of services you offer is very impressive and one would assume that Vancouver is a competitive market in your industry. Do you find this to be true? 

Yes, Vancouver’s design industry is relatively competitive – We believe that the key is to find your niche and build strong relationships within it. There are plenty of very talented firms in Vancouver, and we are excited to be a part of the growing industry here. 

Does your age give you an advantage when bidding on jobs and projects?

Vancouver has a lot of young entrepreneurs and professionals who we believe see the value in working together. The design and construction industry is still very male dominated, and with our female team we strive to break boundaries, hire more female trades and continue to make a name for ourselves here. 

On your social media I notice some very cool, trendy couches etc. Are you able to source those products and then ship them anywhere?

Yes we can. We love to keep updated on the local and global trends for furniture and lighting. We have a team with extensive experience in furniture and textile selection and are always excited when we can show off our knowledge. 

For anyone that is looking to hire you what is the best way to contact your firm?

You can reach us through our website www.jutedesign.ca or send us an email info@jutedesign.ca